A new therapeutic strategy against triple-negative breast cancer


Thanks to support from a PIC3i, three teams from Institut Curie and three teams from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are joining forces against what is called "triple-negative" breast cancer. Together they will be able to test the potential of a new weapon in the fight against this particularly formidable disease.


TOP1, or topoisomerase 1, is an enzyme that controls changes in the DNA structure. Today it is the target of inhibitors, which are molecules that block its action, in treating cancer. In fact these inhibitors, by destabilizing the DNA of tumor cells, end up killing these cells... And the TOP1 inhibitors are particularly effective when combined with an anti-body that helps them recognize and target cancerous cells.

Furthermore, so-called "triple-negative" breast cancer is today the most difficult to treat, but could be a target for TOP1 inhibitors, since their DNA is often already destabilized by certain genetic anomalies.

The teams of Elisabetta Marangoni, Céline Vallot and Marc-Henri Stern at Institut Curie have decided to team up with the teams of Yves Pommier, Stephen Hewitt and Anish Thomas, from the US National Cancer Institute (NCI), in order to study this area further. Institut Curie has already achieved promising results on tumors from patients transplanted into animals, while the NCI has new TOP1 inhibitors, which may be more effective. The funding provided by this PIC3i will allow them to test new combinations of treatments in vivo, and to carry out more analyses to understand the mechanisms at play, identify sensitivity markers of tumors and the most effective strategies. A clinical trial for this type of treatment for triple-negative breast cancer is fast approaching!